Monday 16 January 2017

Curb your antibiotics use, warn experts

Published 05/04/2016 | 02:30

Antibiotic resistance is an internationally recognised threat to health.
Antibiotic resistance is an internationally recognised threat to health.

Throughout the world, including Ireland, children are frequent consumers of antibiotics. But at what price?

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Antibiotic resistance in children with urinary infections is high and could render some antibiotics ineffective as first-line treatments, warns a new study.

This resistance is an internationally recognised threat to health. Routine use of antibiotics has been shown to increase the probability of antibiotic resistance in adults with urinary tract infections.

A team of UK researchers from University of Bristol and Imperial College London set out to review studies investigating the prevalence of antibiotic resistance in urinary tract infections caused by Escherichia coli, a bacterium responsible for over 80pc of all urinary tract infections in children.

They reviewed the results of 58 observational studies in 26 countries involving over 77,000 E. coli samples. The results show a high global prevalence of resistance - to some of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics by GPs - in urinary tract infections in children, caused by E coli.

Within OECD countries, half of all samples were resistant to ampicillin (amoxicillin), a third to co-trimoxazole, and a quarter to trimethoprim.

In an editorial in the British Medical Journal, Professor Grant Russell at Monash University in Australia called for new clinical guidelines and a stricter control of antibiotics.

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